This article was written by Lorraine Hart of Ideal Consulting Services and published online and in the Sunday, July 7, 2024 edition of the Houston Chronicle.

One of the first steps in planning a home remodel is to find a professional contractor. Whether you get a referral from a friend, read reviews, or respond to an ad, your goal is to find a company that is good, reliable and has experience with the type of project you are planning.

Kelly Kirk of Greymark Construction Co., says, “My number one recommendation for choosing a contractor is to go with the company you trust the most. It’s a relationship and you need to have trust on both sides. The company is coming into your intimate space and you’ll be with them every day, so you need to make sure you’re going through it with someone you like.”

You will be working with your contractor for many weeks or months depending on the size of your project. You and your contractor need to communicate effectively.

“Communication is extremely important,” states Moe Toofan of Texas Building & Remodeling “You want to work with a company you can trust to do the work right the FIRST time.”

Moe advises, “You can find information about a contractor’s reputation from social media, references, awards, and the time they have been in the remodeling business. It is important to find remodeling contractors who belong to professional organizations such as the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA).”

Kevin Vick of Vick Construction & Remodeling, Inc. highlights the importance of a contractor’s credentials. “Any homeowner planning to remodel wants nothing less than a professional job.  A good place to start your search for a remodeler is with your local builder association and its affiliated local Remodelers Council.  These organizations are committed to providing excellence in the remodeling industry. They offer ongoing education and professional designations to their members and keep them informed about new products, construction techniques, business practices and industry issues.  Specialty credentials include Certified Graduate Remodeler, Certified Green Professional, Graduate Master Builder and Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist. Consider designations when choosing a professional contractor to ensure a successfully completed home remodeling project.”

There is some helpful basic information that is good for you to know when bringing contractors into your home.  Larry Abbott of Abbott Contracting advises that “there are some things everyone who lives, works or plays at your home should know; where the water shut off valve is, how to shut off the sprinkler system, where the gas shut off is and the location of the electrical service box and which breaker works with each device or appliance.“

Some of us recently experienced a lengthy power outage. Having a backup generator for your home is in high demand. When you are choosing a company to install a home generator, keep in mind that installations require multiple experienced skills and trades to ensure your standby generator provides years of protection for your household. Jared Porsche of Generator Industries recommends “When contemplating a whole house generator, be sure to get a turn-key solution from start to finish for a smooth, complete installation.”

By taking the time to do your research when choosing a contractor, you will save yourself time, money, and unneeded stress. Remember, a good remodeler will take the time to listen to your needs and wants. Whether you are remodeling a room or renovating a whole house it is important to choose the right professional to ensure a successful project outcome.